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Reviews from March 2019 (21)

Down Came The Rain And Washed The Spider Out.

Storm of Locusts  (Sixth World, book 2)

By Rebecca Roanhorse 

15 Mar, 2019

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

4 comments

2019’s Storm of Locusts is the second volume in Rebecca Roanhorse’s Sixth World series1.

The oceans rose, civilization fell, and the gods returned. Possibly not in that order. The Walls of Dinétah keep the worst of the chaos outside Diné lands. Yet life inside the Walls can still be challenging, thanks to a plague of wandering monsters. Against the monsters stand a chosen few, the beneficiaries of what are called clan gifts. Superpowers. The chosen ones may lead lives that are all too often pitiably short, but it’s worth it to protect friends and families from the stalking horrors. 

Maggie Hoskie’s gifts — speed, bloodlust — make her a superb monster-hunter. The events of the earlier volume, Trail of Lightning, left her in possession of a magic sword. She will need it soon. Too bad she has no idea how to wield it. 


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Not Ready To Make Nice

The Element of Fire

By Martha Wells 

12 Mar, 2019

Special Requests

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Martha Wells’ 1993 debut novel The Element of Fire is a standalone secondary-universe fantasy. It is the first of Wells’ Ile-Rien books. It was followed by The Death of the Necromancer, The Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy (The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods) and various short pieces. 

A daring night-time raid on a sorcerer’s lair, a victim recovered, a mansion left aflame: enough of an adventure in itself. For Captain Thomas Boniface, this was just the beginning of a longer, more perilous campaign. 


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By The Last Breath Of The Four Winds That Blow

The Stars My Destination

By Alfred Bester 

10 Mar, 2019

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Alfred Bester’s 1956 The Stars My Destination is a standalone tale of REVENGE! And a change of heart. 

Psychic teleportation transformed society. The economic effects triggered war between the Inner Planets and the Outer Satellites. 

Gulliver Foyle survived the destruction of the interplanetary space craft Nomad only to spend six months trapped on the hulk. When finally another ship, the Vorga, came within rescue range, Foyle was quick to fire off distress signals. Inexplicably, the Vorga ignored the flares and continued on its way. 

Until this moment, Foyle had been an entirely unremarkable prole, uneducated, unmotivated, and destined to live and die in obscurity. Vorgas act gave Foyle the motivation he had previously lacked. Now he has goals: survive and make the crew of Vorga pay for leaving him in deep space. 


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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

The Smoke-Scented Girl  (Dalanine, book 1)

By McShane. Melissa 

9 Mar, 2019

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2015’s The Smoke-Scented Girl is the first volume in Melissa McShane’s Dalanine secondary-universe fantasy series. 

The kingdom of Dalanine is under attack. The Despot is marching steadily, unstoppably, towards the capital. Dalanine is also dealing with a rash of deadly arson attacks. 

Research magician Evon Lorantis is working desperately to work out who or what agency is causing the fires. 

What he discovers: a young woman who can’t control her new powers. 


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What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

Monstress, book 1

By Sana Takeda 

8 Mar, 2019

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

1 comment

Monstress, Book One1 collects the first eighteen issues of Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s epic secondary-universe fantasy manga. 

The semi-magical Arcanics are descended from godlike beings. When properly processed, their body parts can be transformed into the extremely useful substance Lilium. The humans, in particular the witches of the Cumaea, see the Arcanics as beasts fit only for slavery or for slow, painful conversion into Lilium. The Arcanics disagree. Hence the seemingly endless wars between the Arcanics and the Federation of Man. 

The most recent war ended when the entire city of Constantine and all within it were burned from the face of the planet. Believing this was a work of a new Arcanic weapon, the Federation agreed to peace … for the moment. 

Which gets us to one-armed Maika, an Arcanic who when we first meet her is about to sold into slavery or worse. 


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Have You Seen the Way?

Noragami, book 11

By Adachitoka 

6 Mar, 2019

Translation

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Adachitoka’s Noragami Volume 11 collects issues 40 to 43 of the adventures of the stray god Yato. The manga was first published in 2014; the English translation was published in 2016. Included in the volume are 

  • 40. We Not-So-Humbly Pray” (恐み恐みも白さず Kashikomi mo Mōsazu”) 

  • 41. A Picture Together” (一緒に写真を Issho ni Shashin wo”) 

  • 42. Causes Nothing but Disaster” (厄災しか起こせない Yakusai Shika Okosenai”) 

  • 43. Secrets” (秘め事 Himegoto”)


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And Drop Them in a Teacup

Carpe Diem  (Liaden, book 3)

By Steve Miller 

5 Mar, 2019

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Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s 1989 Carpe Diem is the third novel published in their long-running Liaden series. 

Set upon by the predatory Yxtrang, Val Con yos’Phelium makes a desperate bid to escape into faster-than-light drive. It’s successful in the sense that Val Con and his companion Miri Robertson escape horrific deaths at the hands of the Yxtrang. It’s unsuccessful in that their badly damaged ship ends up in the back of beyond, orbiting the interdicted world of Vandar. 

Briefly orbiting. A forced descent follows. 


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Another Day Older And Deeper In Debt

Trouble on Titan

By Alan E. Nourse 

3 Mar, 2019

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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1954’s Trouble on Titan was Alan E. Nourse’s debut novel1. It is standalone juvenile SF. It has recently been reprinted and issued in e‑book form by Prologue Books. 

Tuck Benedict is disappointed to learn that his hoped-for reunion with his father must be postponed. Colonel Benedict has spent years troubleshooting on Mars and Venus for the Security Commission. His leave has been cancelled. He’s been dispatched to Titan, home to unruly rubidium miners. 

The colonel invites Tuck to join him on his mission to Titan, but Tuck fears delay in reporting to college could cost him his scholarship. Then … luck puts Tuck in a position to save his father from a mail bomb. Afraid that the assassin might succeed if Tuck is not there to protect his father, Tuck changes his mind. School must wait until Tuck returns from the mining colony. 

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All Kinds of Kinds

This Alien Shore

By C. S. Friedman 

2 Mar, 2019

Special Requests

2 comments

C. S. Friedman’s This Alien Shore is a standalone space-opera/cyberpunk novel. 

The Hausman drive gave humanity the stars. It also induced mutations in crew, passengers, and colonists. The mutations thrived in the new colonies, which became known as Variants. A bigoted, xenophobic Earth abandoned its colonies. Two centuries later, the Guerans developed an entirely new method of faster-than-light travel, via ainniq, points that give access to an alien realm governed by unfamiliar laws. The Gueran Guild reached out to all of humanity’s worlds, including standoffish Earth, and rebuilt the interstellar community Earth had cast aside. 

Now someone is trying to destroy that community. 


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